Monday, September 15, 2014
WHEN NEWS ISN'T REALLY NEWS
Mom takes the Response Magazine put out by the United Methodists. I signed up for Sojourners when Newsweek went digital and I should have done it years ago, because frankly even when it was still in print Newsweek had become something more suitable for lining a birdcage than a source of anything resembling real news. I was just too lazy to cancel the damn subscription.
I grew up in a logging town that provided TV coverage (all two stations) with a repeater that carried the two stations headquarted in Eugene. ABC and NBC. And somehow we survived. Personally, I spent a lot time in the local library.
So now we have cable and hundreds of viewing options, and most of it is pure, unmitigated crap. There's even a "reality" series that puts a couple naked people out in the boondies and I'm not sure what happens after that. I ran across it while watching program on the first responders on 9/11. Which I didn't finish because there were more commericals than program Arrrrrrrgh!
And while Bill Maher is currently blaming Fox News for the dismal state of the American psyche. (I partially agree with him) pre Fox wasn't a whole lot better. Perhaps there was decent coverage of the carnage in Central America back in the eighties if you lived in the NE metro area. Didn't hit the papers out here.
I first heard about El Salvador in a Miami Vice episode for cryin' out loud. What I see when I look at these two lists is a prime example of the sorry state of jourhalism itself. Most of the information in the right hand column you can get with a good web browser. You don't have to send people out into the field to find out what Kimmy is wearing or not wearing this week.
You have to put boots on the ground to get good information for the stories in the left hand column. Talk to beekeepers about the dying hives. Search out the sources that can verify that for every ton of corn that comes out of Iowa they're losing X number of tons of topsoil. Search out why Dow wants to market crops that are immune to 245D. Hint. Round Up doesn't work so well anymore.
And so many of these problems are on the frontlines in what we call the third world not here in the good old USA where you can go interview your sources and either be home for dinner or at least put up in a decent hotel. Deforestation, desertification and debt ridden, suicical farmers are half a world and several flight changes away.
Frankly I don't have many answers. All I can do is keep chipping away and hope somebody notices. More later.